With August now at its halfway point, students and parents across Canada are undoubtedly gearing up for the upcoming school season. And while students are likely trying not to think about it, their parents have no choice but to consider buying clothing and supplies for their kids.
As Stefania Moretti of QMI Agency pointed out in an article published last week, this is the time of year that is considered the second most important for Canadian retailers. With the Christmas holidays being the most important, the end-of-summer back-to-school shopping season is generally expected to be the next busiest one.
Moretti notes, however, that this year is expected to be a little lighter than usual. Consumers, she writes, have less to spend than normal. According to a prediction by Ernst & Young, this year’s back-to-school shopping season will follow the trends of the bad spring and summer period.
According to the the firm’s Daniel Baer, consumer confidence is low. Said Baer: “Although lower than their peak levels, higher gas and grocery bills have reduced consumers’ disposable income, as inflation continues to outpace salary increases.” Evidently, consumers will be looking for significant discounts during their back-to-school shopping this year.
Naturally, Synergy Merchant Services would recommend that business owners across Canada come up with inventive ways to draw in customers before the school year gets going. Special sales need to be advertised and stores need to promote themselves in ways that help them stand out from their competition.
Have you thought of ways to get more customers into your store considering that spending may be slower than normal for this time of year? Retailers who sell school supplies should especially be weary of this situation. Moretti writes that Staples Canada has taken notice by having a number of back-to-school items priced at under a buck to attract parents who are watching their wallets.
Moretti also points out that “the good news for Staples and others is that stores that cater to children and students are somewhat shielded from the spending slowdown, since parents tend cutback on their own luxury items to ensure their kids don’t go without the basic classroom necessities.”